Happy at writing

Lois McMaster Bujold: The Vor GameLois McMaster Bujold, one of my favorite sci-fi authors, tried a new approach for her latest book: Having fun writing it.

The first ideas for this book surfaced in June, 2004, when I was out on my back deck trying to soak up some Minnesota sunshine for the long winter ahead. (In other words, I made it up, in a welcome idle moment.) I began writing in August, quite soon after I’d turned in the final manuscript for The Hallowed Hunt. This was to be a book written for my own pleasure, at my own pace, without the constraints of a contract or pressure of a deadline. The duology length came as a bit of a surprise to me, but it was precisely what the story, as it developed, needed. Also a surprise was how fast the writing went; I finished the first draft in Aug. 2006, a mere year after I’d started, the time it would usually take me to write a single much shorter book. It was fun!

If you’re into sci-fi at all, try reading her Vorkosigan books, featuring Miles Vorkosigan, the most unlikely sci-fi protagonist ever. There’s about a dozen of them and they’re all great fun, my personal favorites being Memory and A Civil Campaign.

I find it interesting that Lois decided to skip deadlines and just have fun – only to find that her writing went faster and she enjoyed it more. This is at odds with the more traditional image of the artist suffering for her art.

And the same concept probably also applies at work. Focus less on deadlines and more on enjoying work, and you will find that you get more work done and have more fun.

By the way: Bujold’s publisher is Baen. Check out the proud motto of the Baen online bookshop:

If it’s in stock , We have it!

4 thoughts on “Happy at writing”

  1. I’d be interested to know what latest book you’re talking about. I’m a Bujold fan, and the book you have used to illustrate your piece came out some time around 1990.

    A search at amazom tells me her latest published book is The Hallowed Hunt. Usually, new books are promoted a long time in advance there. Do you know something that amazon doesn’t?

  2. A fellow Bujold fan – yay :o)

    You caught me, the book cover I used is oooold, it’s just the coolest one I could find in a hurry.

    Anyway, at Bujold’s website, dendarii.com, you can read about her next book The Sharing Knife, which she calls a romance-fantasy-action/adventure-social-drama-psychological study (Or you could just call it a Bujold book.)

    More info here: http://www.dendarii.com/new_book.html.

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